A student in Southeast Community College’s Energy Generation Operations program engaged in some professional development outside the classroom when he attended the 2014 U.S. Women in Nuclear National Conference this past summer.
“Leadership in Challenging Times” was the theme of the conference, which was held at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.
Todd Davis, who is in his fourth quarter in the program, said he plans to pursue the nuclear focus in his sixth and final quarter. He serves as president of the Future Operators of America student organization on the Milford Campus and is a member of the Phi Beta Lambda chapter.
“I have found the Energy Generation Operations program to be quite interesting and challenging,” Davis said. “I never realized before taking this program what it took to provide electricity to everyone, or how to meet the demands.”
Davis, from Nebraska City, took to heart the challenge from his program instructors to “take advantage of opportunities to expand our experience in the energy generation field of study.”
“When they sent out the info about a scholarship to go to a Women’s Nuclear Energy conference in Boston, I must say I first dismissed the notion,” he said. “Our program chair and instructors emphasized the fact that this was open to men as well as women. Despite their encouragement for us to apply, the thought of going to a women’s conference still seemed a bit unnerving. But as the weeks went on and the deadline was approaching (which was over summer break), I decided that I did not want to go back to school knowing that I did not even try.”
Davis had never been to the East Coast, and he’s glad he was able to attend the conference.
“I learned quite a bit about the industry and other plants around the country, as well as some of the companies that manage those plants,” Davis said. “We also got to experience some of the sites of Boston while there for the conference.
“We made use of most every moment to learn about the nuclear energy industry. Even at lunch we had a speaker or a presentation. One luncheon speaker was a very talented young woman by the name of Dr. Leslie Dewan. She had a very interesting presentation about herself and her company, which is trying to develop an unused process of reclaiming spent fuel rods in a nuclear power plant.”At the end of the conference, Davis and fellow student attendees and their mentors met and were presented a gift and had their pictures taken with their mentor.